In spite of revelations in recent months the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) mishandled strains of deadly bird flu, anthrax and botulism, the broadcast networks remained confident the government’s “disease detectives” could handle the Ebola outbreak.

On Sept. 30, the CDC announced that a patient in Texas was the first instance of Ebola in the U.S. But from the very beginning of the Ebola outbreak in March 2014, networks’ evening news programs have demonstrated their resounding faith in the capability of the CDC by ignoring agency failures in 98 percent of stories on Ebola (53 of 54).



The Obama administration is preparing to put in place yet another delay in ObamaCare, forestalling a wave of insurance policy cancelations that are mandated by law in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In doing so, some of the negative repercussions of ObamaCare will be delayed until well after the November 2014 midterm election.

The political journalists at the Washington Post are no fools, they must surely realize the nakedly political nature of the move, but the reader would not get that from Amy Goldstein's coverage in March 5 print article, which editors buried at the item at the bottom of page A6 with the bland headline, "Americans may be able to keep old health-care plans longer under rewrite of rules." What's more, Goldstein waited until the eighth and final paragraph to give a fleeting, misleading account of Republican criticism:



According to a report by Tim Cavanaugh, news editor of National Review Online, the Federal Communications Commission “has pulled the plug on its plan to conduct an intrusive probe of newsrooms” as part of a “Critical Information Needs” survey of local media markets.

FCC spokesperson Shannon Gilson issued a news release that indicated in the course of the commission's review and public comment, “concerns were raised that some of the questions may not have been appropriate. Chairman [Tom] Wheeler agreed that survey questions in the study directed toward media outlet managers, news directors, and reporters overstepped the bounds of what is required” for the pilot study in Columbia, South Carolina.



On Tuesday, Times reporter Robert Pear couldn’t describe Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman as “liberal Democrats,” only as “influential Democrats.” In Thursday’s Times, Pear displayed no aversion to labeling conservatives named to the new “super committee” created in the debt-limit deal.

Pear even found Democrats John Kerry (lifetime American Conservative Union rating 5) and Max Baucus (ACU lifetime score, 14) would be found in the middle: “If a deal is to be struck in the middle, it is likely to involve Mr. [Rob] Portman, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and perhaps Senator Max Baucus of Montana, Congressional aides said.” But the Republican list included the “most conservative” Members:



Many believe that the Fairness Doctrine was repealed in the 1980s. In fact, it remains on the books, as Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell recently noted. President Ronald Reagan's FCC - and each one since - opted to not enforce the law for constitutional reasons, but the law itself still exists.

Two House Republicans have sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asking him to officially remove the law - and a few related measures - from the Code of Federal Regulations.

Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Greg Walden, who chairs the panel's Communications and Technology Subcommittee, have given Genachowski until Friday to confirm that the regulations will be removed. Will the FCC Chairman, who has a record of liberal views on contentious communications issues, comply?



NPR's Scott Horsley favored Democrats over Republicans by a five-to-two margin on Thursday's Morning Edition. Horsley played sound bites or quoted from Obama administration officials or congressional liberals more often than from GOP representatives.

During his report, the correspondent highlighted congressional concerns over the safety of nuclear energy during the Tuesday hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Energy Secretary Chu and Nuclear Regulatory Chairman Gregory Jaczko were the main witnesses during the hearing. Horsley first noted that "Chu was cautious in talking about Japan's nuclear crisis and its meaning for the U.S. Damage to the Fukushima reactors seems more serious than Three Mile Island. But Chu confessed we don't really know what's happening, and the situation is unfolding hour by hour."



Apparently the sophomoric folks at Newsweek are getting a bit giddy during the short work week leading up to Thanksgiving.

To accompany David Graham's November 23 The Gaggle blog post, Newsweek editors included a photo manipulation featuring the face of Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) on the body of Adam in Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam"

The photoshop was inspired by a March 2009 comment Shimkus made that reflects his religious beliefs, a comment that Graham apparently finds suitable for mockery and as evidence that Shimkus would be a poor choice to chair a committee that might deal with climate change-related issues and legislation:



Americans interested in free speech got a boost Monday when the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Kevin J. Martin, came out strongly against any reimplementation of the Fairness Doctrine.

As reported by the Associated Press Thursday (emphasis added):

Martin, in a letter written this week to Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and made public Thursday, said the agency found no compelling reason to revisit its 1987 decision that enforcing the federal rule was not in the public interest.

This letter (PDF available here) quite supported the views concerning this issue being expressed by Congressional Republicans in the past few weeks since this matter took center stage (emphasis added):